The second Pittsburgh Humanities Festival was March 24-26, 2017 and explored storytelling and conversation, artmaking and artviewing as intentional processes that bring people together to take action and build a better shared future. As part of the Pittsburgh Humanities Festival’s Core Conversations series, the Pennsylvania Humanities Council presented “More Just Communities: From Stories to Action” with Carnegie Mellon University and the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.
The following panelists described their work in documentary film, creative placemaking, and humanities-based resident engagement in a conversation moderated by Pittsburgh Post-Gazette columnist and associate editor Tony Norman:
- Chris Ivey, a seasoned filmmaker in Pittsburgh, created the “East of Liberty” documentary series, which explored issues of race and class and addressed resident fears about gentrification
- Jason Schupbach oversees design and creative placemaking grantmaking and partnerships at the National Endowment for the Arts, including Our Town and Design Art Works grants, the Mayor’s Institute on City Design, the Citizens’ Institute on Rural Design, and the NEA’s federal agency collaborations related to community development.
- Lindsay Houpt-Varner, a historian, directs Greater Carlisle Heart & Soul, an initiative to strengthen Greater Carlisle through storytelling and community engagement, using the Orton Family Foundation’s nationally recognized Community Heart & Soul method.
Additionally, a pre-festival event and panel discussion entitled, “Diversity in Ballet,” was held on Sunday, March 19 at the August Wilson Center for African American Culture. This event is presented by the Dance Theatre of Harlem and the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre and co-sponsored by the Pennsylvania Humanities Council.